Monthly Archives: November 2011
I want to get out front of what could potentially happen, because I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble if it does. But if OSU were to run the table and then play LSU in the National Championship Game in New Orleans on January 9, and then they were to win the game, how should a Christ-follower (Christian) react who is an OSU fan?
By Christian I mean: Someone who has given their life, their allegiance, their whole life to the whole person of Jesus Christ so that they might be restored to God and live for Christ. So how does a Christian celebrate and think about how a Christian should respond when their favorite football team just won a once-in-a-lifetime game?
If it is true that we can and should eat and drink for the glory of God through Christ (1 Cor. 10:31), then how do we watch football and celebrate a football victory for the glory of God? Since all of life is meant for Jesus (Col. 1:16), this is a question every Christian football fan must think through so that when they watch and celebrate they will know if they are honoring Christ or worshiping football stars, coaches, teams, donors, etc.
As someone who has played sports and watched a lot of sports, this has been a struggle for me. I want to enjoy sports, but I don’t want to elevate anything or person over Christ. Teams, wins and stadiums are fleeting. Christ is not.
David Platt, who pastors in Alabama, puts this in perspective following the Auburn’s National Championship last year. I hope you will take a moment to watch this and examine your yourself.
Think about the Bible. Was there ever a Godly and good thing accomplished in the Bible that was easy? I can’t think of one.
And yet it is so easy to think that if something is hard to do, then it shouldn’t be done. Or to think that God doesn’t want it to be done.
Where would we be if every time there was resistance to a dream or goal, we just gave it up because it was too costly, hard and stressful?
Until the bridge was completed, the only practical short route to San Francisco was a ferry that took approximately 20 minutes. I’m sure someone said in opposition to construction: “We don’t need a bridge, we have a boat. It will cost too much money.”
The trouble was that San Francisco’s growth rate was behind the national average and that was probably in part due to the inadequate transportation to San Francisco. Can you imagine driving all the way around or having to wait to take a ferry everyday? The Golden Gate Bridge seemed like a no-brainer.
But just because it is apparent that something should be done, does not mean that there won’t be a lot of resistance.
Consider that many experts said the bridge could not be built across the 6,700 foot strait. (The opposition always has an expert witness.) Not only was it a great distance, but the builders and the bridge would have to endure swirling tides and currents, water that was 500 feet deep at the center of the channel, and frequent strong storms. The “experts” also said that ferocious winds and blinding fogs would prevent both construction and operation. Interesting isn’t it? These things didn’t hinder the ferry from crossing.
Not only were there natural obstacles, but there were the all-important economic ones as well. The San Francisco City Engineer estimated it would cost $100 million, which was impractical for the time.The cost of the bridge ended up being between 35 to 37 million dollars. Way under the original estimates.
But consider also the cost if they had not built the bridge then. What if they would have waited. What would be lost? Just recently it has been proposed to place suicide nets on the sides of the bridge at a cost of between 40 to 50 million dollars. Consider also that the cost today to build the same bridge is estimated to be $1.2 billion. Was it worth it to build then?
But there was still other resistance. The bridge faced litigation from many sources. The Department of War was concerned that the bridge would interfere with ship traffic. The Navy feared that a ship collision or sabotage to the bridge could block the entrance to one of its main harbors. Unions demanded guarantees that local workers would be favored for construction jobs. Southern Pacific Railroad opposed the bridge as competition to its ferry fleet and filed a lawsuit against the project. And I am sure there are other stories including the danger of building and the 11 people who died building the bridge. (Most information from Wikipedia.)
This bridge is considered an architectural marvel. It is an American Icon. And most of all, it was needed for the growth of a city.
The bottom line is this: The effort to do big things will often be met with big opposition, but opposition is not a certain sign that the big thing we seek to do should not be done. Neither does it mean it should necessarily be done. But if it needs to be done and must be done, resistance can’t be the deciding factor concerning what we do. After all, there’s always someone who is in opposition.
If the building of the Golden Gate Bridge does not convince us, we can always turn to the Bible and look at the life of Jesus. He was God and yet resisted at every turn.
Over the past year Eagle Heights gave almost $26,000 specifically for missions. This giving was above and beyond general budget giving and we used the money to support our own mission trips and individuals who went on other mission trips.
I am thankful for people who are generous with their money to support the mission of Jesus all over the world. And I want us (Eagle Heights) to ramp up the generosity and give more and more.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think it would be too difficult to do a lot more.
What if every member committed to give $10 a month to missions? Because let’s face it, some give way more than that and many people don’t give anything. But what if……………..$10 per person? Let’s suppose 300 people gave the $10 that it would cost to buy two venti lattes. $10 x 300 = $3,000.00 x 12 months = $36,000.00.
When everyone gives a little it equals a lot. And who can’t give $10 a month. Maybe a few people, but most of us with smallest sacrifice could join with others to do so much more than we currently are doing.
Even high school and university students can afford $10 a month.
The truth is a sad one – It’s not that most people can’t give, it’s just that they won’t.
And I will remind every person without shame that our basis for giving is Jesus Himself, and He gave everything He had to do the will of the Father (2 Cor. 8:9).
With Jesus as our motivation and example, I hope we will joyfully seek to give and do more. Here are a few questions that might be asked when it comes to missions month giving:
FAQs about Missions Giving
- Why not just give all my money to missions? When you give to the local church you are giving to missions. But keep in mind that Eagle Heights is on mission right here in Stillwater (Acts 1:8). Local churches use money for ministries just like missionaries use money. Eagle Heights uses its budget to employ staff, provide ministries and give to ministries and since the local church is God’s plan to advance the mission of Jesus, our first giving emphasis should be to the local church we are committed to by membership. A strong local church should be a strong missions giving and sending church.
- Why do we emphasize missions and missions giving? Because God prioritizes missions (Genesis 12:1-3; Ps. 67; Matt. 24:14, 28:19; Acts 1:8) and money is an indicator that our priorities are God’s priorities. Missions month helps us to shine the light on what God wants to do for all peoples so we do not become selfish with the gospel we enjoy.
- How much should I give to missions? After you have trusted God by supporting your local church with regular giving (tithe), ask God what He wants you to do above and beyond what you normally give. God is faithful to reveal himself to those who seek Him.
- I can’t give much, does the little I give really matter? Yes it matters. First, it matters because you have trusted God with the little you have (Luke??). Obedience is success. The amount is not the point, but rather the motive and heart. Second, if you gave nothing last year and decided to give $8 a month this year (2 lattes at Starbucks or Aspen), you would end up giving $96 this next year. Suppose God moved ten other people to do the same. That would be $960 more than last year. God multiplies obedience and we do far more together than by ourselves.
- How will this money be used? All of the money given to missions will be used for local and world missions and ministries. None of the missions money is used for the Eagle Heights general budget.
- When do I give? How do I give? We are going to take up our missions giving commitment on the Sunday, November 20th. Give by marking on your giving envelope the amount you want to give to missions.